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Lifelong Learning

BestSeattle2015WinnerWebSquareVoted "Best Adult Education" program in Seattle by the readers of the magazine Jewish in Seattle in 2016, Temple Beth Am promotes lifelong learning and is committed to being a center of Jewish life for people of all ages. Our classes, discussions, and lectures offer many opportunities for our adult community to learn at a variety of levels. The program listings below are updated frequently with a wide variety of offerings.

For our additional selection of Torah Study classes, including Introduction to Judaism and Adult B'nai Mitzvah, visit our Torah Study page.

Please contact our Director of Community Engagement, Alexis Kort, or call 206-525-0915 x 210 with any questions.

Union for Reform Judaism: Introduction to Judaism
Sundays, October 15, 2017 - May 6, 2018
9:00 - 10:45 AM, TBA K'hilah Rm. 226

Temple Beth Am is excited to offer again the revamped and upgraded Introduction to Judaism class in partnership with the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ). This course is used across North America and is recognized universally by Reform synagogues, using URJ curriculum and resources for adults interested in exploring Judaism. Taught by Rabbi Jason R. Levine, class time will be double that of previous years and includes a Shabbaton designed specifically for this class. Topics include Jewish rituals, Jewish theology, history, texts and prayer, life cycle, holidays, and comparative Judaism.

Registration for URJ: Introduction to Judaism is through the Union of Reform Judaism. Go to their website to sign-up or contact Rabbi Sabine Meyer.

Intro to Judaism Class Shabbaton: To be announced

Cost for 18 classes: $200 TBA members / $280 non-members / $50 - $100 additional for textbooks

The tuition fee allows for either one or two people to attend, couples are encouraged to attend together, and singles may invite an interested friend. Reading list can be found here. Used copies and e-readers are encouraged. 

To register for this course, please visit the Union for Reform Judaism website. Please contact Rabbi Jason R. Levine (206-525-0915 ext. 215) to inquire about the scholarships offered by Temple Beth Am.

*This class is now full and not taking anymore students. You may still sign up to be on our waiting list in the event that a space opens up.

book stack


No matter what the monthly reading selection is, you can rely on the book clubs at TBA for lively, passionate opinions and meaningful conversation among friends. We welcome newcomers and new ideas each month and often feature notable specialists to lead our discussions. 

Immigrant / Refugee Stories Book Club
Monthly / Tuesdays at 6:30 - 8:00 PM

Following our Israeli Author’s Book Club for 2015-2016 and Jewish Feminist Book Club 2016-2017, this year we are continuing with an evening TBA book club format to discuss the immigrant and refugee experience through fiction.  All discussions are moderated by members of Beth Am. If you are interested in leading a book discussion or have suggestions for a topic/books for next year, please be in touch with TBA's Director of Community Engagement Alexis Kort

Upcoming Selections:

The Sun Gods by Jay Rubin
Tuesday, November 28, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
TBA K'hilah Rm. 226
Arriving in Seattle on the eve of World War II, Japanese-born Mitsuko falls for Tom, a widowed pastor, and becomes surrogate mother to his fair-haired American toddler, Bill. But the bombing of Pearl Harbor strains the newly formed family as U.S. government mandates and Tom’s growing discomfort with all things Japanese force Mitsuko and young Bill to leave Seattle and Tom behind for the Minidoka Internment Camp, unsure if they will ever return.

Two decades later, memories of Minidoka and long-lost Mitsuko haunt Bill, sparking an arduous journey that leads him from Seattle’s International District to newly reconstructed Japan to find his Japanese mother and learn the truth about their shared past.

*Author Jay Rubin will join us for this book discussion. He is one of the foremost English-language translators of Japanese literature. He is best known for his numerous translations of works by Haruki Murakami, Japan’s leading contemporary novelist, and Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words. In addition, Rubin’s Making Sense of Japanese remains one the widely used guides to Japanese language studies.

January 30: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu 
February 27: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
March 27: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
April 24: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
May 29: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue